NHK Top Sales, Nostalgic Rival to BBC Top Gear

Forget Knight Rider, forget Speed Racer, forget Seibu Keisatsu. This could quite possibly be the best show ever to hit the airwaves, and it’s a soap opera. NHK is launching a new drama series called Top Sales, about a car saleswoman making her way up the ladder in the male-dominated world of auto retail, and it takes place in Japan in the 70s. Like, OMG.

The plot follows a woman named Hisako Makino (played by Yui Natsukawa and loosely based on author Fumiko Hayashi) who loses her job at a textile company. She runs into her childhood friend Takao (Kippei Shiina), a salesman at a company called Omiyake Motors, who convinces her to take a job with him. His chauvinist manager disapproves at first, but Takao convinces him to hire her. Drama, possible romance, and a tale of women’s empowerment ensues. Eventually, Hisako climbs the corporate latter to the top, becoming president of the company. The year is 1974, one year after the Oil Crisis, and the show’s producers have painstakingly recreated all the fashions, music and household items in vogue at the time for the sets.

But who cares about all that? There main point here is that the show appears to contain plenty of old Japanese iron in the background, which you can see in this gallery and on the show’s official site. This is one soap opera we’ll gladly endure. Please, please, please let there be a subtitled version unleashed into the internet. The first episode aired April 12.

[Source: Auto-Otaku via Autoblog]

This post is filed under: japan, Video Games.

4 Responses to NHK Top Sales, Nostalgic Rival to BBC Top Gear

  1. SrFairladyZ says:

    Woah! Looks like I’ll have to take a break from my Pinky Violence films!

  2. nlpnt says:

    Is it just me or does the fake company logo look a bit too modern? Sort of like a mishmash of the Toyota and Mazda logos introduced in the ’90s?

    I’m sure we’ll see an Americanized version set 15 years or so earlier in the era of big tailfins and “The Feminine Mystique”…

  3. Jnostalgics says:

    Keen observation about the logo, nlpnt. And actually, that premise doesn’t sound half bad! Maybe after a couple of seasons the dealership can expand to take on import brands like Datsun and Toyota. 🙂

  4. o.moru says:

    I’m working on an .SRT soft-sub for this j-drama, episode 1 is nearly there. I grew up in Detroit area, so my family has a history with both Ford and GM. Even I worked at Ford for a time, once. The lead actress in this is excellent, she was in “Muri na Renai” (Impossible Love) this past spring too. It’s going to take some time to sub all 8 episodes because this is a solo effort, I’m not in a fan-subbing team (episode 1 has taken weeks). There are no j-idols in this story, which usually attracts multiple subbing teams. I picked this story because, well it’s about cars, and it’s set in 1974, and well… no one else wanted to sub it. I watched part one and thought, it’s very moving. Hoping the work will move more quickly after part one. You can download the RAW at, if you have a torrent client.
    The ficitonal company in the story is Miyake Motors, it’s meant to be a smaller company on the scale of a Nissan, circa 35 years ago, I think. The logo on the screen cap above is the main title caption of the program, TOP SALES (it spells “TOPPU SAALUSU”, in katakana). Miyake Motors’ logo is pretty generic, it’s just a red and white design with “Miyake” at the bottom. But it’s all believable somehow. It really does remind me of the 70s in some scenes. Be warned though, j-dramas are very sentimental! The people in the story out-weigh the cars, but there are cars there and the love of cars. The main character has very strong memories of a beautiful red convertible from 1960…

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